The Benefit of Regional Jet Training Prior to Airline Ground School & Sim

The following article consists of a letter written by Michael Golinder, a current Chautauqua Airlines First Officer on the EMB-145. Mike completed ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program and subsequently built multi-engine experience while instructing for ATP. Before his interview with Chautauqua Airlines, Mike enrolled in ATP’s Regional Jet Standards Certification Program. While the training had him well prepared for the interview, the value became even more apparent during ground school and sim training.

Michael Golinder, EMB-145 First Officer, Chautauqua Airlines

September 14, 2004

James Havard
Regional Jet Program Manager
Airline Transport Professionals
P.O. Box 1784
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32204

Dear Jamie:

I wanted to let you know I completed training at Chautauqua and flew the 25 hours required for IOE. I would like to tell you that I underestimated the value of the Regional Jet Standards Certification Program. I found out very quickly how lucky I was to go through that training. Most people in my systems class were struggling to understand the material and keep up with the pace of the course. Most, like myself, were transitioning from piston aircraft to jets. One very big difference was the fact that I had a great understanding of these systems and could concentrate on the important details while others just had time to grasp the basics. We had a few seasoned pilots in our class as well, one a Jetstream 31 captain and one a TWA/American MD-80 pilot. To my complete surprise, they had a harder time than anyone due to completely new automation.

Then followed my biggest realization of the importance of this course. We started sim lessons and, even though I was not flying the CRJ, I had an easy time adjusting my scan and reading the information presented on the CRT’s in front of me. At the same time my sim partner and other classmates spent 2-3 sim lessons just trying to figure out the flight director, the autopilot, and glass, while I had some time to concentrate on flows and other details. I cannot say that I was not nervous. We only had a total of 8 sims before the check ride. Every sim lesson I was getting more and more nervous, but compared to my classmates’ anxiety, I was cooler than Elvis. I forgot to mention that I had the coveted midnight to 4 a.m. sim.

When it came to the check ride, I was more than nervous, but having gone through one similar in the CRJ with another check airman gave me an advantage. The check airman that gave me my ride failed 3 out of 4 people that he checked in my class. It was not an easy check ride. As a matter of fact, it was the hardest one I have ever taken, but I passed, thanks in no small part to the Regional Jet Standards Program. If it sounds like a sales pitch, well it should. I get frustrated when I hear that people do not reach their dreams and goals because of a flight school letting them down.

I have always supported and thought the best of the ATP Airline Career Pilot Program! Now I am completely behind the RJ Program. Everyone in my class I spoke with said in one way or another that they wished they had gone to ATP. If not for the Career Pilot Program—then the Flight Instructor—if not that—then at least the CRJ & FMS Orientation. There were people that spent almost $100,000 through other flight schools to be in the same place I was for $35,000. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to ATP.

Best Regards,

Michael Golinder
EMB-145 First Officer
Chautauqua Airlines